Scientists revive bacteria that have slept for 100 million years under the seabed

An international group of researchers has revived microorganisms that have lain in the thickness of marine sediments for more than 100 million years.

10 years ago, scientists removed samples of sediments under the seabed from a depth of 75 m, the approximate age of which dates back to 101.5 million years. Only a little oxygen was found in the soil and there were practically no organic materials that living organisms could feed on..

In a recent study, the team found aerobic bacteria there, which when  the addition of nutrients began to quickly revive and multiply. They eliminated the possibility of contamination because microorganisms could not accidentally penetrate the thick layers of the seabed.

Sediment sample

According to scientists, they were shocked that 99% of microorganisms were able to return to life after such a long fast. During 68 days of observation, their population increased by four orders of magnitude..

Scientists revive bacteria that have slept for 100 million years under the seabed

The team does not yet know for sure the exact reason for such a long persistence of bacterial activity. Perhaps they were in a state of suspended animation or were able to somehow share from time to time.

We also previously reported on the discovery of the first metal-eating bacteria..

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: AMSTEC

Scientists revive bacteria that have slept for 100 million years under the seabed

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